WILLIAM NAMED KING AND KATE QUEEN

Royal Announcement: William & Kate Will Officially Be King and Queen

August 10, 2017
Take a look at your newest soon-to-be King and Queen of England! Today, Queen Elizabeth...
Take a look at your newest soon-to-be King and Queen of England! Today, Queen Elizabeth…

Take a look at your newest soon-to-be King and Queen of England! Today, Queen Elizabeth officially announcedthat she will be passing down her crown to her grandson Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton. This, of course, means that the Queen has skipped over her own son, Prince Charles, in the British monarchy’s line of succession. Bummer.

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While the drama surrounding the royal family has taken most of the attention away from their policies and image of regal stature, the Queen believes implementing a younger generation than her son is vital for the House of Windsor to thrive in the future.

“Her Majesty realized that William and Kate are the future,” said a palace insider. “She has spent 65 years making sure that the House of Windsor survives, and she sees William and Kate as having the energy and star quality to do the job in a modern world. Queen Elizabeth will always do what is best for the long-term health of the monarchy.”

More: Queen Elizabeth II has hired an equerry, & it’s a milestone hire

Her Majesty has also said that she truly does not believe the monarchy has the “respect and power it once had.” The source continued, “In her eyes, William and Kate are the two people who can turn that around.”

So how does the King-to-be and forever-Prince feel about the decision? Unfortunately, the decision has caused a rift between William and his father Charles. According to the same insider, their relationship has been strained, but they will get used to it eventually. Just like classic Brits, they’ll push their feelings as deep down as possible!

More: Prince George & Princess Charlotte steal the show on royal trip to Poland

And, of course, what does this mean for the world’s most popular couple and their young family? Since Prince George and Princess Charlotte are only 4 and 2 years old, respectively, Kate is mostly concerned about her role as a mother. “She’s desperate to remain a hands-on mom and worries about being in the spotlight more,” says the palace insider.

So while the rest of the world is excited for the change and step forward, it’s important to remember that they are, in fact, still trying to be a normal family.

WHERE IS THE ARK OF THE COVENANT? 

Research writer Sir Godfrey Gregg D. Div

Introduction
The Ark of the Covenant disappeared off of the pages of history by the time of the Babylonian Captivity. Nothing in the Bible is said about the Ark in the Old Testament after the return from Babylon, but the Apocrypha states that the Ark could not be found when the Jewish people rebuilt the Temple at the time of Ezra and Zechariah. The explanation in the Apocrypha was that Jeremiah hid the Ark in a cave in Mt. Nebo before the Babylonian invasion and that its location would not be revealed until God was ready for it to be found.

No Ark in the Second Temple
Thus, the Holy of Holies in the Second Temple was an empty chamber, without the Ark of the Covenant. When the Roman General Pompey conquered Jerusalem around 63 B.C., he demanded the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies. When he did, he came out saying that he could not understand what all the interest was about the sanctuary, when it was only an empty room. (He had no knowledge of the Ark)

The fact that the Ark of the Covenant was not used in the Second Temple has led to the speculation of where the Ark is, or if it still exists on the earth. The Ark was so important in Israel from the time of Moses through the Judges and the First Temple era, that it seems remarkable that nothing is said of it in the Bible after the Babylonian Captivity until the Letter to the Hebrews and the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. In Hebrews it is described as it was in the original Tabernacle made by Moses; and in Revelation, the Ark is seen by John in heaven. In neither case is the Ark mentioned as something that remains on the earth now.

Is the Ark Needed for the Tribulation Temple?
One question that arises is, can the Temple be rebuilt if it does not contain the Ark? The Scriptures indicate that the Temple will be rebuilt and standing during the Tribulation period and that the Tribulation Temple will be desecrated by the Antichrist. How can the worship of God be resumed as it was in ancient times if there is no Ark in the Holy of Holies? We have already seen, though, that the absence of the Ark of the Covenant did not keep the Temple from being rebuilt at the conclusion of the Babylonian Captivity.

The Second Temple stood for over 500 years without containing an Ark, and it was fully recognized as a valid house of worship for the Lord. Christ Himself declared the Temple to be His Father’s House. So it would not be unthinkable to build the Tribulation Temple, even if the Ark is not discovered. If the Ark does still exist, however, and it was somehow discovered, it would certainly give rise to a strong movement in Israel and around the world to rebuild the Temple to house the Ark properly.

Is the Ark Hidden in the Temple Mount?
There persists a legend that the Ark does exist on earth, but is hidden. A recently published book by Randall Price, entitled In Search of Temple Treasures, presents the various views on what has happened to the Ark. Some of the traditions place the Ark outside of Israel, such as at Mt. Nebo, Egypt, and even far-off Ethiopia. But all of these traditions have problems and seem unlikely since there is a lack of any scriptural evidence for them.

A view that has predominated in rabbinic circles is that the Ark was hidden in a cave beneath the Temple Mount in the very heart of Israel. The theory goes that the priests hid the Ark beneath the Temple Mount, perhaps as early as during the time of King Josiah, since the coming prophesied invasion by the Babylonians was only a matter of time. By hiding the Ark and other Temple treasures, the priests felt that the priceless sacred articles could be protected from desecration by the pagan invaders. (In my opinion, Israel has to be protected to protect and preserve the treasures of the Temple until the time is right.)

Why Didn’t Israel Use the Ark in the Second Temple?
As it turned out, the Babylonians did invade Jerusalem. They destroyed the Temple and carried away many of the vessels and implements to their capital city a thousand miles away. No mention is made in the Scriptures of the Babylonians taking the Ark, the Menorah, or other key Temple items. If the Ark and the other implements were hidden under the Temple, why weren’t they recovered and used after the Captivity? It’s hard to imagine that the priests would have knowingly left the Ark out of the Holy of Holies if they could have utilized it during the 500 years of the Second Temple.

The explanation offered is that they felt that as long as Jerusalem was subject to domination by the succeeding powers of Babylonia, Persia, Greece, and Rome, the Ark and other treasures could be desecrated and captured by the Gentile armies. Thus, the sacred items would remain in seclusion until it was considered safe to bring them out to be placed in the Temple.

The Rabbinical Attempt to Find the Ark
At any rate, Rabbi Shlomo Goren and Rabbi Yehuda Getz, the rabbis in charge of the Western Wall area, are convinced that the Ark has been hidden in a cave in the Temple Mount directly under the site of the Holy of Holies, since the time of King Josiah. They probably represent the majority of Orthodox rabbis in their views. They have a concept of vertical air space, by which the space of the Holy of Holies sanctifies the ground directly below it. Thus, the ancient priests would have been careful to locate the cave repository for the Ark in the sanctified area below the Holy of Holies. The evidence for all of these suppositions about the location of the Ark, as Rabbi Getz concedes, comes more from the Talmud than the Scriptures. Nevertheless, there is a large and growing group of Orthodox Jewish adherents who believe that the Ark is in this cave below the Holy of Holies, and awaits the right time to be found.

Rabbi Getz believes that in 1982 he was very close, within 40 feet, to find the cave in which the Ark resides. He was conducting a search in an old tunnel that had been filled with the debris of centuries, which runs perpendicular to the Western Wall and under the Temple Mount. However, when the Moslems discovered that there were diggings being conducted under the Dome of the Rock, they threatened a general riot and the diggings were stopped. The rabbi explains that, for the sake of maintaining peace with their Moslem neighbors, the Israelis had to reseal the entrance to the tunnel, and it remains blocked up to this day.

Temple Interest an Indication of the Imminent Rapture
The Scriptures are not clear as to whether the Ark of the Covenant still exists on the earth, but they are clear that the Temple will be rebuilt and standing during the Tribulation. There is no question that if the Ark were found, it would give enormous impetus to the rebuilding of the Temple to house it. Bible-believing Christians should keep a sharp eye out for any developments surrounding the Temple Mount, realizing that it is a key element leading to the Tribulation era. The closer we get to the Tribulation, the closer we are to the imminent Rapture of the Church, which, we believe the Scriptures teach, will precede the Tribulation. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.

The Shekinah Glory

The Shekinah Glory

The Presence of the Lord would fill the holy of holies.

Exodus 40:34-35 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

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images/W9.gifWhen the glory of the Lord came down and filled the tabernacle for the first time it must have been an awesome spectacle to behold. God was truly pleased with His people, not because of their goodness but because their sins were covered and they were hid in Christ who was to come someday. I believe the high priest sensed a sweetness when he encountered the Presence of the Lord in the holy of holies. The etymology of the dwelling or presence of God is the Hebrew word Sh’cheenah or as we pronounce it Shekinah. The term Shekinah was many times used interchangeably with the word God. In the Jewish mind it always spoke of the fact that He “dwelt in” or “rested upon”those who merited His favor, whether an individual, a community, or the entire Jewish people.

Scholars have always seen a striking connection between the concept of the Shekinah and the idea of Logos “The Word”which Philo introduced into Jewish philosophical thinking. Of course a much greater emphasis was placed upon the word Logos when the apostle John introduced his gospel account of the life of Jesus with these suggestive words:

John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

In the Jewish Targums, which were popular interpretations or paraphrases of the Old Testament Scripture, there was a tendency to avoid anthropomorphic terms. Therefore the Word was introduced as a mediating factor between God and the world. In particular the chasm between the Divine and human is bridged over by the use of such terms as the Hebrew word memra (“word”) and shekinah (“glory”). “The memra proceeds from God, and is His messenger in Nature and history.”

Scholars also see the similarities between Shekinah (God’s “Presence”), The Holy Spirit of God (Heb. Ruach Elohim; Gr. Pneuma Hagion), and the Hebrew Bat Kol (“The Daughter of the Voice,” or God’s Voice). Any attempt to draw a substantial difference between these words have never been satisfactorily established and thus they are often used interchangeably.

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Jewish Tradition

Shechinah

According to Jewish tradition the radiance of the Shechinah, with its untold blessings, “rests” upon all those who are pious and righteous. According to ancient Rabbis the Shekinah appears in the midst of at least a minyan of worshipers when they pray in congregation, and of two or more Jews when they engage in the study of Torah, or on a man when he recites the Shema. The Shekinah is said also to rest upon the chaste, the benevolent, and the hospitable, and upon husband and wife when they live in peace and harmony. The ancient Rabbis also said that the Shekinah appeared before Moses at the burning bush, rested upon the Tabernacle in the Wilderness on the day of its dedication, and in the holy of holies in the Temple at Jerusalem, and it has illuminated the bliss of the righteous (Heb. tzaddikim) in the world-to-come ever since.

The Talmudic Sages conceived of the Shekinah as a spiritual essence of indescribable beauty and exalting effect. It was generally spoken of as brilliant light or radiance and when it approached it was announced by a tinkling sound of like an ethereal bell. One interesting Jewish legend even described the dying Moses as being lovingly enfolded in the “wings” of the Shekinah.

It is said that, “Wherever the Jewish people go the Shechinah follows.”

Bat Kol

It is interesting to examine the tradition of the Bat Kol which was the voice of God that proclaimed His will and intention, His judgments and His promises, His warnings and His commands to various people, communities, and sometimes to all of Israel. Jewish tradition always spoke of the Bat Kol. When the Torah was given at Sinai the Bible says,

Deuteronomy 4:12 “And the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; you only heard a voice.”

The Bat Kal mysteriously sounded at extraordinary times and this was mentioned in Jewish tradition. For example there is one account that indicates that at the very instant when God took away the soul of Moses with a kiss, the bat Kal rang out over the Israelite camp with the lament, “Moses is dead! Moses is dead!” It also is recognized to have given warnings or passed judgement upon evildoers as recorded in the book of Daniel:

Daniel 4:28-32 At the end of the twelve months King Nebuchadnezzar was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”

The Bat Kol was said to have been heard by the Rabbinic Sages when they had very important decisions to make. The Talmud makes mention that at various times a Bat Kol wound make an announcement during the great assembly known as the Sanhedrin.

There are many instances in the New Testament of the Bat Kol with Jesus and His apostles. John the apostle who wrote the Book of Revelation said:

Rev 1:10-18 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. . . And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

The Bat Kol is represented in Jewish tradition by the symbol of the dove.

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There was a difference between the temple of God which was the structure itself and the temple of God which was the dwelling place. When Jesus was accusing the Jewish authorities He said, “You have made My Fathers house into a den of thieves,” and by saying “My Father” they knew He was claiming Messianic authority over the temple, and so they said, ” what sign do you show us seeing that you do these things?” and notice what He said:

John 2:19-21 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

They were looking at the physical structure (Heb. Mikdash) of the temple but He said, “Destroy this temple” He used the word in Hebrew ‘Mishkan’ which was the word used in the Old Testament of the Presence that lit the holy of holies on Yom Kippur in the tabernacle or temple. Jesus said I am the temple (Mishkan) of God. When the glory (Heb. Sh’chinah) would come down like a tornado or funnel right through the roof of the holy of holies and the Presence would manifest on the mercy seat between the cherubim after the blood was sprinkled, that was the mishkan. That Presence was what Jesus said dwelt within Him. And in fact Paul said about the church, “Know ye not that you are the temple (Mishkan) of God?” We, as the body of Christ, have the same Presence dwelling within us. God doesn’t dwell in buildings now but within His people. Rmans 10 says that If you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Yaweh and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. It’s that easy. At that point you become the Mishkan of God. When God said, “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them,” He literally said ‘in’ them. God’s ultimate goal has always been to dwell within His people (Jeremiah 31:31-33) and to put His Spirit within us. When you accept Jesus you become the Mishkan of God.

It is interesting that when the children of Israel had experienced the glory of the Lord coming down they praised the Lord and sensed His goodness and His mercy.

2 Chronicles 7:2-3 “And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’S house. When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the LORD, saying: “For He is good, for His mercy endures forever.”

The Presence of the Lord is always a pleasant thing and never something to be afraid of for the believer in Christ. When the Spirit came upon Jesus He came in the form of a dove which was a symbol of affection and caressing in Israel. When Isaiah saw the throne of God and the King in all His glory (Isiah 6) he was terrified and expected death at any moment but when a sacrifice is made and the blood is present, the lovingkindness and mercy of the Lord are also present and the people of God are compelled to speak out:

“Truly the Lord is good, for His lovingkindness endures forever.”

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THE DUTY OF LEADERS (Part Two)

Sir Godfrey Gregg D. Div, OHPM, ROMC

The Duty of Leaders:

Three Prerequisites
First, leaders must “be strong and very courageous” (Joshua 1:6,7,9). Crossing the Jordan, engaging the enemies of the Lord, and driving them out so that the promises of God might be enjoyed wouldn’t be a picnic. It would be hard work. All the people would have to take their place and do their jobs. They would have to be strong in the vision of the Lord, in each of their duties toward the realization of that vision, and in the spiritual and emotional strength their work would require. Further, the Canaanites would put up a fight; therefore, the people would need to be courageous, unflinching, and undeterred. Any weakness anywhere would be exploited to the detriment and destruction of the whole project.

For the people to be strong and courageous in all these ways, their leaders would have to be so as well, beginning with Joshua. The first prerequisite of leadership is to make oneself an example of what the people are called to be and do. Effective leaders are highly visible as embodying the mission and mandate of the people they are called to lead. Therefore the leader needs to make sure that, whatever he expects of anyone in his charge, at any level or in any niche of their common project, he embodies the strength and courage they will need to perform their duties as unto the Lord.

Second, all that God intended His people to realize in the way of prosperity and peace was bound up in the promises made to the patriarchs and the Law given to Moses. Therefore, Joshua had to make certain that he fully understood and submitted to the promises and Law of God as the driving force of his life (Joshua 1:7,8). Day and night Joshua was to meditate in Moses’ book of the Law, which would have included everything from Genesis to Deuteronomy. Joshua had to be a student of God’s Word, so that he could guide the people, equip and enable them, and help them understand the purposes of God for every area of their lives.
Simply put, effective leaders need to be diligent students of God’s Word. No enterprise or endeavor that expects the blessing of God can ignore His promises and Law, or any of the revelation He has provided in His Word. Leaders may try to push this duty off on others, while they devote themselves to the more practical demands of leading. Or they may simply ignore it, believing that the mission and vision of their project already sufficiently encompass and explain all the people need to know. Either of these would be a mistake.

God clearly tells the leader of His people that he must devote himself to the Word of God, reading, meditating, teaching, and obeying everything he finds there. Only then will God bless His people to the fullest extent.

Finally, Joshua was required to be resolute and undeterred, drawing on the presence of the Lord at all times (Joshua 1:9). Whenever Joshua failed to consult the Lord — as in the fiasco at Ai and the treachery of the Gibeonites — Israel’s progress was compromised. Leaders must be men of prayer, who pay careful attention to everything that’s going on in their endeavor (Ephesians 5:15-17) and strive to ensure that every aspect of their own lives, as well as their undertaking, is offered up to the Lord for His approval (Proverbs 4:5-6).

Leaders must be men of vision and prayer. Their plans and activities must be prepared and executed in the presence of the Lord. Any leader of a Christian enterprise who is not developing the discipline of praying about everything and praying with ceasing is setting his project up for derailment, disappointment, or worse.

Joshua is the model leader for those who accept this calling in the household of faith. Let us learn from him the implications and prerequisites of this calling, so that we may be faithful and blessed in leading the people of God to take full possession of all that He has promised them.

ONEDAY

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today! – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.